Marion man killed after USC win against Alabama
Mon, 11 Oct 2010 21:40:55 GMT —
Police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a Marion man, following USC's big win over Alabama.
The former Marion High School and Coker College baseball player was in Columbia at the game with friends, when things turned deadly.
Martin Gasque, 20, was just leaving the game, when he got involved in a traffic jam and the celebration turned to tragedy.
Russ White is Martin's childhood friend. "Just like any friend it hurts me. It hurts me to look at it (the crime scene), it hurts me to read the papers and see what they're saying."
Russ played baseball with Martin at Marion High School and at Coker College, before Martin transferred to Horry Georgetown Tech this fall. He and his friends spent last Saturday in Columbia tailgaiting at USC's upset win over Alabama.
They left the game and and headed down Shop Road near Williams-Brice Stadium. Columbia police say Martin was riding in a friend's truck, when they got in a traffic-jam. Deputies say Martin started arguing with Curtis Simms, who was a passenger in a nearby car.
Officers tell me both men got out of their cars and into a fight. Martin fell to the ground. The friend who was driving the truck that Martin was riding in, pulled over to see what was going on. Police say he didn't see Martin on the ground and ran over him.
Martin's college baseball coach, Dave Schmotzer, is devastated. "I almost get angry at how a young man like Martin would go to a football game and not come home. It's just so disheartening."
Simms is charged with aggravated breach of peace for fighting with Martin, but he could face more charges, if police determine it was the fight that caused Martin's fall.
Deputies are asking anyone to come forward who may have seen the fight.
Officers say it will be up to the solicitor to decide if charges are upgraded against Simms.